Lucy looked adorably flustered as she sat on the side of the bed explaining to her father and mother that she was safe and living in another pack with her second chance mate. It sounded like they had already known a bit of what she telling them, but her mother was interrupting her father with details while her Dad grilled her about—you guessed it—me.
I had to smile at the protective nature of the man who was, for all intents and purposes, my father-in-law. Knowing that he cared enough about his daughter to demonstrate it gruffly in his tone let me know he was a decent man.
“Did you want to talk to him?” Lucy sounded irritated, and was probably tired of her dad asking the same questions in slightly altered sentence structures. I grinned back at her, though my heart dropped into my gut when I hear the man mutter, ‘Yeah, sure. Put the boy on the phone.’
Boy. Not good. I needed to be a man in Mr. Wallace’s mind.
With big eyes, Lucy handed the phone over to me, and I prayed for some miracle that the call would be disconnected before I was able to spit out a choked hello.
No such luck, and I cleared my throat before speaking. “West Harkin here, sir.”
I fumbled for something more to say, but every syllable got caught in my throat, and I had to clear it again.
‘West, boy. From what I hear, you’re my Lucy’s new mate? Just how old are you?’
“23, sir. I’ll be 24 come August.”
Short, sweet—to the point.
And completely lame.
’23, eh? And how is it a 23-year-old has not had a mate since turning 18 five years ago? And why have you not been slated to attend The Claiming’s yearly rite?’
“Sort of a long story, sir,” I told him, trying to contain the tremble in my voice. For an Omega, the man was scary. Or maybe it was just because of who he was in relation to me that had me terrified of pissing him off. “The short of it is, I was rejected by my mate at 18. The woman who I was given as my first true mate was lax morals and I…I was not cut from the same cloth as she. Plus, my pack is so out of the way that many of the elders in The Counsel forget we are even here. We’re not large by any stretch, but we’re safe and guarded by craggy peaks and steep valleys. Lucy is safe with us here, sir, I assure you.”
The man—Carver, Lucy said his name was—seemed to mull that over before speaking again.
‘So, your first mate was a floozy, and you…you are not? Does this mean you have maintained your innocence in hopes of finding a second chance, or have you not waited for her to come around?’
The man was to the point, I had to give him that, but then again, he was a doctor, and they were usually direct in nature. His question didn’t bother me at all, for I had nothing to hide from him.
“I did not sleep around after my first mate rejected me, sir. My family believes in waiting for the other half of our soul before losing our virginity. It would not have felt right had I been experienced and she was…was not. It…it’s family tradition, in part.”
There was a beat where I stopped breathing, hoping I had spoken words of comfort to my female’s father. When one silent minute lapsed into two, I spoke again.
“Sir? I can assure you, with every fiber of my being, I would never hurt my mate. I…I’ve been on the receiving end of a rejection, and it wounds you to the soul. I would never, ever do that to Lucy.”
There was another pause as I heard the man blow out an elongated breath. When he next inhaled, I thought I heard him chuckle.
‘You better not, my boy. I don’t care if you’re a Beta and my daughter’s mate and I only an Omega. I will rip you to shreds if she is hurt by you. She’s been through enough, and if I hear even a whisper of you mistreating her, I’ll make sure your testicles are removed from your body permanently.’
I blew out my own held breath. I didn’t mind the threat; I’d probably beg for him to do the honors if I fucked up with my woman, and there was zero chance of me even attempting to wrong her.
Carver asked a few more questions, and, with time, the interrogatory feeling eased and I was comfortable enough with the flow of the conversation that I realized that Lucy had left the room to make us some sandwiches for lunch. When she came back, we were wrapping up and making plans to meet in a nearby town in a few days.
“Everything okay?” The worried frown on her face as she handed me my plate was cute, and I tried desperately to tamp down on my growing arousal as her deep grey-blue eyes sparkled in the dim afternoon light.
“Perfect, thank you,” I murmured as I set the offered plate on my lap. We weren’t big for sitting around a table to eat unless we were out or had company, and I took a bite of my sandwich right there on my bed, following it with a forkful of macaroni salad we had picked up at the grocery store in town earlier.
Between chewing, I explained most of the missed conversation that we’d had while she was fixing us lunch, and she nodded her head as if she’d expected the little bit of grief her father had given me. It was nice to know that her father cared so much, and amused me that Mrs. Wallace hadn’t grabbed the phone to pepper me with questions as well.
We laid back on the bed after eating, Lucy tucked under my arm and watching a rerun of Breaking Bad as our stomachs settled. After the show was over, she turned the television set off and looked up at me.
“I assume you want kids, West,” she told me almost formally, though with the way my stomach plummeted to my heels, you would have thought she was telling me she had decided to go back to her first mate.
I phrased my words carefully. “With you, absolutely.”
Well, maybe not so carefully.
She seemed to ponder that for a moment, and my heart thudded—or rather, skidded—to a halt in my chest.
“How many?” she simply asked, and I breathed out a deep sigh of relief.
Shrugging, I tried to play off my extreme interest in the subject matter, as if supreme indifference was the way to go. “It’s your body. Tell me how many you want, and I’ll make it happen.”
She seemed to enjoy that response, and I leaned over and kissed her pouty pink lips.
“Seriously, sweetness. You give me a number and it’s yours.”
Everything. Everything is yours.
“I…I don’t know,” she said finally, and—again—my heart flipped and swooped, the fucking fickle muscle. “I suppose I would have to see how I feel after we have one. Maybe.”
And my heart beat again in its sinus rhythm.
“Generally, I’d like to have at least two,” she told me.
“Two is good. It’s a good number.”
Christ Almighty, West.
“But I think I’d want more,” she continued, and her eyes, those eyes that killed me and stole my soul, peered into mine again in earnest. “That is, if you would want more.”
With my dick already in agreement with the topic at hand, I tried not to shift as her palm grazed my bare lower abdomen. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think she was baiting me for a firm answer. If so, I was about to give it to her.
“I always thought I’d want four, maybe five kids when I met my mate,” I told her, the words coming out slowly as I studied every reaction on her heart-shaped face. “But if you think only two, I’ll go with that. You’re the one that will have to deal with strange cravings, morning sickness, and pushing out babies after hours of labor.”
And a miss.
Her face blanched, and I decided to kick my own ass later on after she left the room. When she turned back to her usual color, she ran her tongue over her bottom lip contemplatively.
“I’d like to have at least two,” she finally said when her pretty pink mouth opened back up.
“Two,” I agreed.
Hours later, we had watched everything I had saved on my DVR we were simply cuddling, the background noise of a commercial on the TV the only sound besides our slow breathing. If I hadn’t been fighting a fucking erection every time Lucy’s pert little breasts had shifted against my skin, I would have been just fine. As it was, I was leaning towards talking about mating with her, just to see which side of the fence she landed on. Some women waited until they were in heat, though they were in the vast minority.
I hummed low in my chest in response.
“I don’t want to wait until my heat to make love.”
A few moments more of silence, and I leaned into her face, her mouth only a millimeter away from mine. Her eyes widened, captured me, and I knew I was going to be forever lost whenever I looked at her ever after.
“Is that you saying we should do this now?” I asked. “I mean, another few days and you’ll probably go into heat. I can’t guarantee I will be around to soothe you.”
That was true. What if Paul needed me on another one of his patrols, or the foreign wolf woke up and I was called in to question her? With my dick firmly attached to my body, I didn’t want her in pain for even a second of her heat, but I also couldn’t assure a speedy retreat to my house to take care of her needs.
She didn’t respond except to nod her head, but the flush riding high on her cheekbones spoke volumes for her, and I kissed her lips slowly, taking my time to slip my tongue into her warm mouth.
My hands stroked down to her sides, cupping her gentle curves before sliding down to her ass and pulling her onto my lap, her legs folded on either side of my hips. I fought the urge to grind up into her as my tongue wound its way through her mouth, twisting in a sensual slide that had her vibrating a moan as she pressed her body against my chest. With a mental fuck it, I lifted my hips, circling them so my girl could see just how ready I was to take her as far as she wanted. All the way, if she was amenable.
The heat from her pussy rendered me titanium alloy in my shorts, and I grumbled something unintelligible into her mouth, maybe fuck me, or something similar. As I nipped her bottom lip, she gasped, and I rubbed against her even more firmly.
I fucking wished we had less clothes on at that moment, just so I could feel how wet, how tight, how hot she was as I slid my full length between her puffy pink pussy lips.
Before I could make a move, her hands were gripping the bottom of her shirt, teasing it up slowly as every creamy inch of her skin was revealed to my hungry eyes.
If she was a dish, I could gorge on her for hours without getting my fill.
With the cups of her light blue bra bared, I reached around as she was pulling her shirt over her head and unclasped the back of it, pulling it off her arms as soon as her t-shirt hit the floor with a whoosh of fabric.
Suddenly, my attention wasn’t on her mouth or the sinful heat radiating from between her legs. It was on her nipples, rosy pink and puckered, almost contracting before my very eyes as the cooler air and the slide of cock between her legs nudged at a sensitive area. At least I thought it did, as her head tilted back and she gave a quavering sigh.
No—not a sigh.
My fucking name.
As if she had hit a button to fast-forward our movements, I was pulling her off my lap and unzipping her pants, pulling them down to her ankles like I was being timed for the 50-meter dash, and her panties were gone just as quickly.
I wasn’t the proverbial 40-year-old virgin living in my parents’ basement and playing Xbox games in my free time, but I’d stroked my dick to orgasm quick enough in my time.
That paled in comparison to almost coming just seeing my mate nude for the first time. Nude, and wet, and nearly writhing on the mattress as I pushed down my shorts and boxers and stepped out of them to crawl over to her on the bed.
My cock bobbed between our two bodies as my hands slid up and down her thighs, between her legs, and up to her waist before cupping her perfectly soft and supple breasts.
“I’ve waited so long for this,” I told her.
And I wasn’t going to fuck it up. Not now. Not ever.
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